We talk a lot about lazy-girl beauty—and its cousin, beginner beauty—here at Byrdie. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Just because we tend to prefer a more laissez-faire approach to our beauty routines doesn’t mean the rest of the world does. We’re fully aware there are those makeup-minded individuals out there who flick perfect cat eyes without a shake or squiggle, who blend shadows with ease, and who contour with the breezy air of an artist painting brushstrokes on a canvas. This makeup guide is for you, dear artiste.
If you’re not quite a pro makeup artist (yet) but have a solid grasp on the basics—or just really, really love playing with makeup—let this be your guide on taking your skills to the next level. From oil strobing to layering strip lashes, keep scrolling for our guide for girls who are good at makeup.
If you’ve been strobing (a fancier way of saying highlighting) for ages, take things a step further with another technique. Instead of dusting your usual highlighter across the high points of your face, take a cue from pro makeup artists and dip a damp beauty sponge in your favorite face oil, then lightly press it to the high points of your face—above your cheekbones, across your forehead, and down your nose. The final effect is a soft, slightly dewy sheen that gives off ethereal, angelic vibes. (This is also a great technique if your foundation is looking cake-y in any areas; makeup artist Edward Cruz swears by it.) To really amp up your glow, add some nude shimmer shadow with your face oil.
So you already know the exact concealer shades that work to cover your dark circles, but the midday crepe-y creasing just won’t quit. Enter: baking, a vlogger and makeup artist–approved technique that keeps creases at bay and illuminates the under-eye area. Start by tapping an eye cream around your eye sockets to hydrate the area, then apply a thick layer of concealer below your eyes, extending all the way to the top of your cheeks. Dust a thick layer of translucent powder over your concealer, then allow it to bake—your body heat will melt the mixture together. Afterward, dip a fluffy eye shadow brush in pressed powder, then sweep it over your under-eye areas to dust away the excess powder. (Here’s a video tutorial in case you need it.)
You know how to contour your face—hell, even your nose. But what about shaping and sculpting your eyes? The idea behind it is to use shadows to lift hooded eyes, elongate round eyes, and add dimension to almond-shaped and hooded eyes. Here’s a video that shows you how.
(While we’re on the topic of eyes, are you applying eyeliner correctly for your eye shape?)
Step up your blush game by introducing another color into the mix. The brighter hue—a pop of pink or berry—should be applied right on the apple of your cheek. Then, add a soft peach or coral shade slightly above and blend up and outward toward your cheekbones. (Charlotte Tilbury’s Cheek to Chic, $40, comes with two shades to make it easy for you.) To finish, sweep a matte bronzer over the high points of your face to add even more dimension.
If you can apply false lashes without batting an eye (literally), it’s time to channel your inner Ariana Grande and take things one step further. Her makeup artist, Daniel Chinchilla, told us that he actually layers two thin strip lashes on top of each other for her full, fluttery fringe, and swears it gives a more natural effect than one super-thick lash. (Click here for more of his eyelash-enhancing tips.)
For brows worthy of Cara and Lily, you’ll have to enlist an unexpected source: concealer. A Bobbi Brown makeup artist taught us to pat a bit of concealer into any sparse areas along the brow line, then fill in with your favorite brow powder. The powder will stick to the concealer and fill in the gap for an even finish. After you’re done filling in your brows, define the shape by tracing the arch below your brows with a clean angled brush dipped in concealer—blend into your lid with your finger if needed. The result? Perfectly sculpted, envy-inducing brows.
This trick might look a bit intimidating in execution, but it’s guaranteed to help your mascara game (and lashes) reach new heights. Next time before you apply mascara, take your pointer finger and place it in the center of your eyelid, then lift your lid up. Then wiggle the mascara wand from root to tip. Lifting your lids up while applying mascara allows you to get the wand at the very base of the lash, snagging every lash from corner to corner.
Want more makeup tips? Here are 10 things makeup artists always do that you don’t.